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Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 27

Newtown Creek Sampling

Greg Lindquist

Willis Elkins/Newtown Creek Alliance

Partnership Between
Willis Elkins/ Newtown Creek Alliance; Sarah Durand/LaGuardia Community College; North Brooklyn Boat Club

One of sixteen projects in the 2018 exhibition Ecological Consciousness: Artist as Instigator.

Ecological consciousness credit John Maggiotto 21

Photo: John Maggiotto

Newtown Creek is an estuary that forms part of the border between Brooklyn and Queens. In tandem with remediation of the 1978 oil spill and accumulation of a millennia of industrial run-off, Newtown Creek has become one of the most polluted industrial sites in the US and was designated a Superfund site in 2010. Greg Lindquist worked with Newtown Creek Alliance on water sampling by studying the water quality, addressing issues of combined sewer overflow/storm draining and marine debris, and offering ways for the local residents to help improve conditions.

Since 2016, Newtown Creek Alliance has conducted biological-focused water quality testing, measuring levels of oxygen, bacteria, and algae as a way of understanding conditions for microorganisms and marine life, as well the general health of the creek. This is an alternative to chemical contaminant-based testing, which is currently directed by the Environmental Protection Agency. These tests aid in understanding the combined sewer overflow discharged points (CSO), in which excessive storm water and sanitary sewage are discharged directly into the creek during torrential rain events.